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The Polynesian Cultural Center pays homa...

We pay tribute to the late William H. Cravens (1941-2019), who served as the on-site leader at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) from 1975 to 1983, and during that time became our first Polynesian president. A brief biography  President Cravens, or Bill as many around here called him, was born on July 7, 1941, in Vallejo, California (his other seven siblings were born in Honolulu), and died on September 2 in San Diego. His mother, Noanoa Soliai, was the daughter of Pinemua Soliai, a paramount chief in American Samoa. His father, Jack Cravens from Missouri, was a career...
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Doug Christy Carries on Father’s Wood Ca...

Doug Christy, a Maori carver at the Polynesian Cultural Center for the past 37 years, is continuing the legacy of his father, the late Epanaia Whaanga Christy. The senior Christy, or “Uncle Barney”, worked at the Center until just a few months before he passed away at age 83 in 2004. Master carver ‘Uncle Barney’ Christy Uncle Barney was already a skilled carver in New Zealand in the early 1960s when he joined the team that created the original carvings for the PCC’s Maori Village. Doug, who was born about that time in Hamilton, New Zealand, was...
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Women now have their own division at the...

Exciting addition to 2019 World Fireknife Championship “Soon after the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 2018 World Fireknife Championship competition ended last May, we began preparing to make the 27th annual competition from May 8-11, 2019, even better,” said Delsa Atoa Moe, PCC Vice President of Cultural Presentations. Moe explained she and her committee decided to reinstate a women’s open division (for ages 18-and-up). “Women have been competing regularly over the past 26 years,” she said. “For example, Jeralee Galea’i of...
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Polynesian Cultural Center celebrates 55...

1963-2018 Fifty-five years ago on October 12, 1963, hundreds of invited dignitaries, tourism executives, Church College of Hawaii (which became BYU–Hawaii in 1974) administrators and faculty, media, Polynesian cultural leaders, Church officials and community representatives gathered on the brand-new Polynesian Cultural Center’s hot, sunny Hale Aloha theater stage for a special dedicatory program. (Historical note: The same volcano-like backdrop still rises above the Hale Aloha today, which is now the main venue for the PCC’s Alii Luau and other special functions.) Elder...
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David Hannemann Remembered as a Legacy o...

For this month’s article, we would like to recognize a true champion to the Polynesian Cultural Center, Tausilinu’u David Hannemann, who passed away on October 9th at the age of 92. Uncle David has been our friend, our adviser, and our spiritual example for so many years. Tausilinu’u David Hannemann (fondly known as Uncle David) was born in Apia, Samoa in 1926. After immigrating to the US in 1946, and marrying his sweetheart, Carolyn Harline, David was invited to become the Center’s first paid employee in 1963. He would work for many years, and then leave for other...
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Hui Ho’oulu Aloha: PCC revives hula hala...

When Hui Ho’oulu Aloha performed in the recent 28th annual Moanikeala Hula Festival on February 3, 2018, it was the first time in more than 20 years that the Polynesian Cultural Center’s own hula halau [school] had appeared in public. [Grammatical note: In English, we say hula halau; in Hawaiian, it’s halau hula.] PCC cultural performance specialist and kumu hula [hula teacher or master] Pomaika’i Krueger pointed out the historic origins of Hui Ho’oulu Aloha when he introduced the halau during the recent Moanikeala Festival. In Hawaiian, the name means “the group that...